Man terrorizing Laguna Beach community with trespassing, home break-ins

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — Residents in Laguna Beach say they’ve had enough of a man they claim has terrorized them for over a year with break-ins and other criminal activity, only to be released from jail.

Todd Williams said he first encountered Daniel Moretti in March 2023.

“When I went to get my mail, he was on the street in front of my house yelling and screaming profanities at me and at people that were walking by,” Williams said.

Community neighbors in the outskirts of the Village said since then, they’ve had dozens of encounters with Moretti.

Cameras have caught Moretti trespassing onto private properties, stepping out of someone’s car left unlocked in a driveway and checking outdoor refrigerators.

“I noticed that beer and waters were gone,” Williams said.

Laguna Beach police have not returned calls from Eyewitness News, but neighbors say officers are doing what they can.

“They know who he is. They know he’s been found in homes. He’s been found sleeping in homes. He’s broken into homes. They all know his name. When I called 911 last, they knew his name and it’s so frustrating because literally, we’ve been dealing with it for a year and who knows what he’s capable of doing,” Williams said.

According to Orange County Superior Court records, Moretti has a long criminal history dating back to at least 2019. Records show nearly two dozen criminal offenses in five years – a mix of misdemeanors and felonies.

A spokesperson with the O.C. District attorney‘s Office told Eyewitness News that Morretti served time for a 2023 resisting arrest conviction. He was released and put on parole this past March, but within two weeks was arrested twice for allegedly breaking into private properties.

A parole hold should have prevented Moretti’s release. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would decide whether the crimes and arrests were parole violations landing him in prison.

Instead, Morreti was released because there was no hold.

Surveillance videos taken just this past Monday show Moretti back on private property in the same neighborhood. We’ve learned from the O.C. Sheriff’s Department that Moretti was last booked into jail this past Thursday.

“I would not want to see him just go to a new neighborhood and do the same thing. He needs to be locked up. He’s not stable. He doesn’t learn. He’s not paying attention to his parole orders,” Williams said.

An attorney representing one of the neighbors, told Eyewitness News there was a parole hold on Moretti as of Friday. As of Friday evening, neither the CDCR or Laguna Beach police had responded to our requests to confirm.

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